Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork Recipe

Indulge in the delectable fusion of Hawaiian-American flavors with our Rainbow Drive Inn Roast Pork recipe. A taste of nostalgia and culinary delight awaits!

Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork

    Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork

  • Cuisine: Hawaiian-American
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 300 calories

Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork is a beloved dish that has become a Hawaiian comfort food classic. Known for its rich flavors and tender texture, this dish encapsulates the fusion of Hawaiian and American culinary influences. The recipe often features pork butt or shoulder, a cut well-suited for slow roasting, resulting in succulent and flavorful meat.

To prepare Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork, a special blend of seasonings is used to create the signature taste. A mix of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, dried thyme, and dried oregano is generously rubbed onto the pork, infusing it with a harmonious blend of savory and aromatic notes. The seasoned pork is then slow-roasted in an oven, allowing the flavors to meld together and the meat to become tender and juicy.

What truly sets Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork apart is its connection to Hawaiian cuisine and culture. The dish embodies the idea of comfort food, with its roots in the local food scene and the sense of nostalgia it evokes for both residents and visitors of Hawaii. This fusion of flavors reflects the diverse culinary influences that have shaped Hawaiian cuisine over the years, making it a true representation of the island's multicultural heritage.

Whether enjoyed as a plate lunch, part of a larger meal, or on its own, Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork captures the essence of Hawaiian comfort food with its simplicity, heartiness, and unmistakable taste. It has earned its place as a staple dish in Hawaiian-American cuisine, and its popularity continues to grow as generations of food enthusiasts savor its deliciousness and cultural significance.


Discover the secret to Rainbow Drive Inn's iconic Roast Pork recipe! Explore tender, flavorful perfection that captures Hawaiian-American cuisine.


  • 3-4 pounds of pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Mix together the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, dried thyme, and dried oregano in a small bowl to create the spice rub.
  3. Pat the pork butt dry with paper towels, then rub the spice mixture all over the pork, making sure to coat it evenly.
  4. Place the seasoned pork in a roasting pan or oven-safe dish.
  5. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil, making sure it's tightly sealed.
  6. Roast the pork in the preheated oven for about 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 195°F (90°C). This slow cooking will help make the pork tender and flavorful.
  7. Once the pork reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Video

Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork

This is a video about Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork.

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Recipe Tags: Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork, Rainbow Drive-Inn Roast Pork Recipe, Recipe


Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork is often served as part of a plate lunch, a popular Hawaiian meal that typically includes a main dish, rice, and macaroni salad. Here's how you can serve it:

  1. Main Dish: Place a portion of the slow-roasted pork onto a plate as the main attraction. Make sure to slice or shred the pork, showcasing its tender texture and flavorful seasoning.
  2. Rice: Add a generous scoop of steamed white rice next to the pork. Rice is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine and provides a neutral base that complements the flavors of the pork.
  3. Macaroni Salad: Alongside the pork and rice, include a portion of creamy macaroni salad. Hawaiian-style macaroni salad typically features elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, grated carrot, and sometimes diced vegetables.
  4. Optional Sides: For additional sides, you can consider adding steamed vegetables, a side salad, or fresh tropical fruits to balance the meal.
  5. Garnish: To enhance the presentation and flavors, you can garnish the plate with chopped green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or even a wedge of lemon or lime for a citrusy kick.
  6. Sauces: Some variations of Rainbow Drive-Inn's Roast Pork might include a drizzle of savory sauce or gravy over the meat. You can create a sauce using pan drippings, broth, or other complementary flavors to enhance the dish.


  1. Choosing the Pork: Opt for pork butt or shoulder for this recipe. These cuts are well-suited for slow roasting as they have enough fat to keep the meat moist and tender during the cooking process.
  2. Trimming: If the pork has an excessive amount of fat or skin, you can trim it down to your preference before applying the spice rub. Leaving some fat can add flavor and moisture, but it's important to strike a balance.
  3. Spice Rub: Ensure you evenly coat the pork with the spice rub. This will help infuse the meat with flavor throughout the cooking process. You can adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste.
  4. Time and Temperature: Slow roasting is key to achieving tender, flavorful pork. Cook the pork at a low temperature (around 325°F or 165°C) for several hours. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature, aiming for at least 195°F (90°C) for optimal tenderness.
  5. Patience: Roasting pork takes time, so be patient and avoid rushing the process. Low and slow cooking will yield the best results.
  6. Resting: Allow the roasted pork to rest for about 15-20 minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful final dish.
  7. Slicing/Shredding: When the pork is ready, you can either slice it or shred it, depending on your preference. Slicing is great for showcasing the texture and seasoning, while shredding can provide a more versatile and tender result.
  8. Plate Presentation: When serving, consider creating an appealing plate by arranging the pork, rice, and macaroni salad in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Garnishes and sauces can also enhance the visual appeal.
  9. Experiment with Flavors: While the basic recipe is wonderful, feel free to experiment with additional seasonings or ingredients that suit your taste. You can add a touch of heat, sweetness, or even tanginess to the dish.
  10. Leftovers: Leftover roast pork can be used in various dishes, such as sandwiches, tacos, or fried rice. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Pork Cut: If pork butt or shoulder isn't readily available, you can use pork loin or tenderloin. Keep in mind that leaner cuts may not be as juicy or flavorful, so you might need to be extra cautious about not overcooking them.
  2. Spice Rub: Feel free to adjust the spice rub to your taste. You can add or omit certain spices based on what you have on hand or your flavor preferences. For instance, you could add a touch of cayenne pepper for some heat or use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
  3. Garlic and Onion Powder: If you don't have garlic and onion powder, you can use fresh minced garlic and finely chopped onions. Just remember that fresh ingredients might have a slightly different texture and flavor profile.
  4. Dried Herbs: If you're missing thyme or oregano, you can use other dried herbs like rosemary, sage, or marjoram. These will bring their own unique flavors to the dish.
  5. Cooking Method: If you don't have an oven or prefer a different cooking method, you could try slow-cooking the pork in a crockpot or slow cooker. You'll need to adjust the cooking time and liquid content accordingly.
  6. Rice: While white rice is traditional, you can use brown rice, jasmine rice, or even quinoa as a substitute.
  7. Macaroni Salad: If you're looking for a lighter option, you can replace the macaroni salad with a green salad or coleslaw. Or, you could opt for a different type of pasta salad.
  8. Garnishes: The garnishes are flexible. If you don't have green onions, you can use chives or omit them altogether. Sesame seeds are optional and can be skipped.
  9. Sauces: If the roast pork is on the drier side, you could prepare a simple pan gravy using the drippings or serve it with a side of barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or a citrusy glaze.


Elevate your culinary journey with the iconic Rainbow Drive Inn Roast Pork recipe. A delectable homage to Hawaiian comfort food that's simply unforgettable.

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